Dance supergroup Major Lazer have helped catapult eclectic world sounds to mainstream music's forefront, and now they're leveraging their tastemaker abilities for their latest collaboration.
Partnering with Danish lager brand Tuborg, the trio -- Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire -- are spearheading a new music campaign titled Tuborg OPEN, which has them joining forces with three artists from around the world to fuse their native styles with Major Lazer's signature island vibe. After the hitmaking triad creates a standard beat open enough for interpretation, the chosen international artists have the opportunity to augment the original track and showcase the sounds and styles that best reflect their individual hometowns, resulting in culturally diverse tracks.
Scriptonite, Russia's most highly praised hip-hop star, originally from Kazakhstan, is the first of the three chosen collaborative artists, with the remaining two set to be revealed in May.
The competition also encourages aspiring musicians and producers to explore their own musical tastes by downloading the Tuborg beat at tuborgopen.com.
Billboard caught up exclusively with Major Lazer in the studio in Los Angeles, where they detailed the initiative's collaborative process with the selected artists and how they uncover sonic trends through cultural exploration.
Becoming one of the most collaborative groups in modern music has been no easy feat, and there's really no game plan to the powerhouse producers' recent success except taking risks. One of those risks was Major Lazer's last album, Peace Is the Mission, which spawned the chart-topping smash "Lean On" featuring DJ Snake and MØ. Naturally, fans continue to probe about the release of their follow-up project, Music Is the Weapon, which festival audiences may be getting a sneak peek of this summer.
"We have more unreleased music than ever before right now," Diplo says. "Major Lazer has always been a summer act; we've always had our streaks during the festival seasons. We're a little late this year, but we're going to start putting out records next month into May, a bunch of new singles."
How many you might be asking? "We have about four songs coming out before the summer is over," Diplo confirms. "A lot of artists right now have proven that you can just flood the market with music."
Diplo, the band's founder, is constantly teasing fans on social media with Snapchat story clips and Instagram photos of his forthcoming A-list productions alongside the likes of Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello, and he exclusively revealed to Billboard Dance last week that Major Lazer and Cabello have made "over 20 songs" together so far. The group also confirmed forthcoming collaborations with Grande, Wale, WizKid, Tinashe and Jauz.
With so much new music underway, this summer is sure to prove once again that it's Major Lazer's world and we're just dancing in it.